Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Muhammad Ali's lawyer responds to Trump: 'A pardon is unnecessary'

President Donald Trump said Friday he was thinking "very seriously" about pardoning the late boxing champion Muhammed Ali, who refused to be inducted into the army during the Vietnam War and whose conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1971. He avoided prison while his case was appealed.

Media captionAre presidential pardons Trump's secret weapon? "His memory is very popular now, I'm thinking about Muhammad Ali".

But soon after the comments, Muhammad Ali's lawyer, Ron Tweel, released a statement saying a pardon is unnecessary.

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In 1971 his case made its way to the Supreme Court. According to the Chicago Tribune, Trump said that "instead of talk", he will ask protesting players to suggest "people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system".

Trump later told reporters that he wants to try to amend his feud with athletes who kneel during the National Anthem by meeting them half-way.

In response to one reporter's question, Trump also confirmed that one name not on his list for potential pardons was O.J. Simpson, the former football star who was released on parole last year after serving nine years in prison.

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Trump already has granted a posthumous pardon to boxing's first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, more than 100 years after many saw as his racially charged conviction.

Ali regained the boxing title in 1974.

The former Cassius Clay died in 2016 at the age of 74 due to septic shock brought on by a respiratory illness.

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Earlier this week, he also commuted the life sentence of a woman whose cause was championed by Kim Kardashian West.

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